Page 1113 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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Australian Public Service—consultants and contractors

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.37), by leave: On behalf of Ms Lee, I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the announcement made by the Labor Senator for the ACT, Katy Gallagher, to cut $3 billion from Australian Public Service contractor and consultant jobs if Labor is elected;

(b) the majority of these jobs are in Canberra;

(c) these Canberra jobs have been called “wasteful spending” by the Australian Labor Party;

(d) they will be replaced by only $500 million in front line jobs, mostly outside Canberra; and

(e) this would equate to the loss of thousands of highly skilled jobs in Canberra, and billions of dollars cut from the ACT economy;

(2) writes to the Leader of the Australian Labor Party defending Canberra jobs in the public and private sectors;

(3) calls on the Federal Opposition to drop the policy of massive job cuts in Canberra; and

(4) condemns ACT Labor Senator Katy Gallagher for proposing a $3 billion hit to Canberra jobs, and the ACT economy.

This is a pretty simple, straightforward motion. I would think, based on the form of this place, that if those opposite are going to be consistent when it comes to the matter of job cuts being mooted by federal political parties then they should be supporting my motion. The plan that has been announced by Senator Gallagher and the Labor Party federally—and bear in mind that they are ahead in the polls, apparently, and on 21 May might form government; this is not some random hypothetical—is to remove from the forward estimates $3 billion worth of jobs from Canberra.

These are currently jobs which employ real Canberrans, with real families, doing very important work in the federal government supporting the APS, working in departments across Defence, Treasury, Finance and Industry. Anywhere you go in the federal government you will find these people working hard and diligently, but what we know is that the Labor Party want to sack them.

How many they want to sack is a little difficult to estimate: $3 billion worth of jobs. Because they have not identified specifically who they are after in terms of whether they are sacking people from defence or they are sacking people from other portfolios, it is a little difficult to quantify that number. If you were to spitball and say an average salary of $150,000 a year, $3 billion over four years, you are talking in the order of 5,000 people. So you are talking about 5,000 people out there in Canberra going to work—doing a great job, I would add, for Australia—and a Labor federal government is going to sack them. We do not know which ones. I think the reality is that about one in every four are going to lose their job.

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